Anxiety — an overwhelming feeling of fear, dread, and worry — can make it hard for people to do everyday activities. Letting a friend or loved one with anxiety know that you support them can really help. Use these tips to start a conversation.

Show you care.

You can say:

  • “How are you feeling? I’m here to listen and support you.”
  • “I’m worried that you’ve been feeling anxious lately. Let me know if you want to talk.”
  • “I care about you and want you to feel better. Do you want to grab lunch and talk about it?”

Remind them things can get better.

You can say:

  •  “Lots of people deal with anxiety — it’s nothing to be ashamed of. And it can get better with treatment.”
  • “There are therapies and medicines for anxiety. Getting treatment is the best thing you can do.”
  • “I know asking for help can be hard, but getting treatment can help you get back to your normal activities.”

Offer to help.

You can say:

  • “I want to help you through this. Can I help you make an appointment with your doctor?”
  • “How can I best support you?”
  • “You can call or text me anytime if you need support — or if you just want to talk.”
  • “Moving your body can help you manage your stress and feel better. Do you want to meet for a walk on Saturday?”
  • “You might feel better if you talk to people who are going through the same things as you. Can I help you find a support group?”

Ask life-saving questions.

Many people who have anxiety also have depression. Check in on your friend or loved one with anxiety. For example, you might ask: “Do you feel safe?” or “Have you felt hopeless or thought about hurting yourself recently? I’m here for you. Let’s call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.”